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Blumenfeld: Photographs : A Passion for Beauty Hardcover – September 1, 1996
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Erwin Blumenfeld was an emigre photographer who brought the styles and ideas of European art to America fashion magazines. In the 1940s and 50s he worked for Harper's Bazaar and then Vogue. His photographs of fashion models melded their clothes, their jewels, their cosmetics, and their bodies into a bold avant-garde look based on Dada, Surrealism, and Bauhaus design ideas. William A. Ewing's introductory essay provides a helpful context for understanding Blumenfeld's work--a case of commerce using and imitating art.
From Publishers Weekly
Erwin Blumenfeld (1897-1969) went through a lot before becoming the highest-paid fashion photographer in the world. A child photographer contemptuous of bourgeois Berlin parents whose bedroom keyhole nonetheless taught him economy of design, he served as a front-line German "corpse-carrier" in WWI, after which he failed as a ladies-goods shopkeeper in Amsterdam before remaking himself as a Dada photo-artist in Paris of the 1930s. When, as a WWII emigre, he arrived in New York City, he had few published photographs. As seen in this lively biography and retrospective pictorial history by photo-historian Ewing, Blumenfeld, by virtue of a long series of Vogue magazine covers and advertising assignments in the 1950s, became a visual innovator whose "masterpieces of form and colour" owed as much to laboratory manipulation as to artistry in street or studio. He is recognized here for the first time on such a scale. The book's bold design ideally suits the often startling close-cropping, double-image or simply color-accented subjects seen in the plates. Photographer-artist Schinz (The Book of Sweets) was a Blumenfeld associate.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.